Stefan Conka Slovak Genealogy Assistance Professional researcher in Slovakia Genealogical research standard and nonstandard sources , finding living relatives, searching for heirs and beneficiaries, property research, translations, guiding, interpreting, certificates, digital photography and video ntsc and pal etc. Languages: English; Czech; German; French.
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Jan Dus E. Email: czechancestors gmail. Jaroslav Jansa Professional Researcher Goes beyond records, will visit places, take pictures, have Catholic masses said, etc. Dolni Dobrouc 02 Czech Republic Email: jansa. David Kohout Professional Researcher since Research, translation, photos, maps, historical informations Specializing in finding places of origin of emigrants from Bohemia Address: Janackovo nabrezi 57 00 Praha 5, Czech republic Email: d. Eduard Kovalda P. Petr was two years older and I loved him very much. He had his bar mitzvah in the Maisel Synagogue in Prague, I remember that afterwards there was a small celebration at home with relatives, and a chocolate cake.
Petr was a talented boy, and when Jews were no longer being accepted at high school [see Exclusion of Jews from schools in the Protectorate] , my parents put him in a school named the Experimental School, in Nusle. It was a special school for talented children where they were attempting to teach with not completely conventional methods. Our parents thought that here his talent would take root and develop. But soon after they threw Petr out of this school as well, because of his Jewish origin.
My brother was always very curious and Mother and Father supported education.
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Petr began to write already as a child; he wrote many articles, stories and poems. He drew a lot as well. Unfortunately only 'A Visit from Prehistoric Times' survived, the rest of the later novels was lost. But perhaps, like his diaries, those works will also surface somewhere. I own 'A Visit from Prehistoric Times'. Like every young boy, he liked to read Verne's novels full of fantasy. Petr imagined that he had found a forgotten novel of Verne's, in the attic of Verne's old apartment building, translated it from French to Czech, and that he's presenting it for the first time to Czech readers.
It's about some prehistoric reptile that lives somewhere in the Belgian Congo. In the novel he describes this monster, which is in reality a large robot, controlled by a dictator who through it wants to dominate the entire continent, and all of Africa is terrified of it. It's an analogy to Hitler and is relatively long.
Petr bound and illustrated the book himself. He wrote the novel shortly before he was transported away in , so he wasn't yet 14 at the time. I was born in Prague in the year Since then not much has changed in Prague, that is, modern technology has of course changed things a lot, there are many more cars driving around and the metro. But as far as streets and buildings go, they're the same streets, the same buildings, the same Vltava River, that I knew as a child.
I remember from my childhood that Esperanto played a very important role in the life of my parents. Quite often we would have visitors from all over the world, and I remember, for example, how once at Christmas a black man from Nigeria, an Esperantist of course, came to visit us.
And when we were walking along the street with him, one primitive lady, when she sighted him, began to run away and yell 'A devil! A devil!
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Our household was always a hive of activity and fun, and we always had visitors over, and also our Ginz relatives, grandma and my father's brothers and sisters. My father's four siblings and mother lived in Prague and we would visit them regularly every week. On Sunday we would go for a walk in the park, together with the children of the other uncles and aunts we would run on ahead and play, and the parents would walk behind us and talk. Back then we had to be nicely dressed though - white stockings and shiny shoes - so we wouldn't cast a bad light on the family.
We went to visit my mother's siblings' families in Hradec Kralove about twice a year, and they visited us as well.
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We attended the synagogue on only the major holidays. Our mother led a kosher household at home, but in a somewhat liberal fashion. At Passover, for example, I remember that we had matzot, but at the same time we ate bread and rolls.
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Dishcloths and utensils for meat and milk were separate, we didn't eat pork, we bought meat at a kosher butcher and as children we were brought up in a Jewish spirit. We observed all Jewish holidays. Chanukkah usually came out to be around Christmas time, we would light the menorah, and for Christmas we would go to Hradec Kralove to my mother's Christian family, and would celebrate Christmas there with them and would get gifts.
It was a rich and happy childhood, which unfortunately lasted a very short time. The apartment which we grew up in was relatively modest, nevertheless furnished with all the necessities. We had two rooms and a kitchen with conveniences. When we were small, we slept with our parents in the bedroom, later in the living room. The apartment was furnished mainly with antique furniture that our father had inherited from his father. We had a maid who lived with us, and slept in the kitchen.
We went through several of them, among them were also one or two Germans, because our parents wanted us to learn German from her. In the end, though, she learned Czech from us more quickly. Our father and mother had a large library, and we children were allowed to read some of these books. And we also had our own children's books there.
In those days it wasn't the custom for children to get a lot of books as gifts, so we would go to the public library. We borrowed books there quite often. I don't think that my parents belonged to some political party, but by their opinions I judge that they were social democrats. They had many friends, mainly from Esperanto circles, but also from others, and they were always very cultured people. Both my brother and I grew up at home. We started our school attendance at the Jewish elementary school in Prague on Jachymova Street.
I think that my favorite subject at school was drawing. Outside of school we didn't have any private tutors, but we both regularly attended the gym, which I liked a lot. My girlfriends from elementary school were in a similar situation as I, all came from well-to-do Jewish families and our childhood was very happy.
Besides my Jewish classmates I don't remember any friends outside of school. In our home it was important that the children pay attention to their responsibilities and that all was in order.
In the morning we rose, the maid prepared breakfast and then Petr and I would walk by ourselves to school. In those days there weren't very many cars about and the streets were safe for us. We lived at Tesnov, close to Hlavkuv Bridge.https://downlitijust.ga
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It was a beautiful walk; on winter mornings the gas lamps would still be lit and the snow would crunch under our feet. School was in the morning, I usually finished earlier than Petr and my mother would be waiting for me in front of the school. Then we would have lunch at home; only our father was in the office and came home later. After lunch our mother would go lie down and we would do our homework; in those days there wasn't much of it. Then we would play a bit at home, and then go out for a walk, usually with the maid. Often we would go to Stvanice, which is an island in Prague, there we would toboggan or play with a ball, and when it was warm, you could bathe in the Vltava there.
And in the winter we would again go to the Vltava, to skate; the river froze over regularly and we would skate from Hlavkuv Bridge to the weir and back again. Sometimes we would go skating to the arena on Stvanice, but there you had to pay. They had music playing there and you would skate round and round.